Monarch Watch recenty announced that Katy High School and Westside High School have been selected as recipients of one flat of milkweed plants, to be planted in the Tiger Prairie and Wolf Prairie. This flat of 50 plugs of native Texas milkweed (Asclepias viridis) will be an important addition to our prairie as we become a certified monarch waystation; the milkweed will provide a valuable food source for monarch larvae and caterpillars, as well as nectar for migrating adults. One issue currently trending is the need to plant native milkweeds instead of the tropical species (Asclepias curassavica) that are more common in local landscaping. Tropical milkweed often harbors OE, or Ophryocystis elektroscirrha, which is a harmful protozoan parasite whose primary host is the monarch butterfly. Planting native varieties of milkweed then is critical to support and increase overall numbers in the threatened monarch population.
This grant was made possible by the Natural Resources Defense Council Green Gifts program.